Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott — who has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1989 and has represented Edmonds and Woodway along with all of Seattle, plus other parts of the Seattle area, since redistricting in 2013 — on Monday announced he will be retiring and won’t seek re-election this year.
Edmonds was previously in the 1st Congressional District, and city ended up in the 7th District — with McDermott as its congressman — following redistricting.
One candidate who has already declared for McDermott’s seat is Jeff Stilwell, co-owner of MaJe Gallery in downtown Edmonds.
Stilwell, a Democrat who lives in Seattle, co-founded along with his wife Manya Vee the Edmonds Art Walk, Edmonds Mural Society, and Edmonds Tunes.
In an announcement sent Monday morning, Stilwell said he wants to run “a campaign of Big Ideas that gets government working again. I’m tired of small bore ideas. I’m tired of whining that we can’t get government to work anymore,” he added.
Stilwell said he wants to close the gender wage gap, and to ensure that education from PreK-14 is nationally funded.
“I believe those first two years of college should be made available free as a national right to prepare our children for the Information Age,” Stilwell said.
He is also campaigning for a space elevator.
“Not a lot of people have heard about the space elevator. It’s a ribbon of carbon reaching straight up into the sky from the Pacific Ocean. It sounds like sci-fi, but so did the trans-continental railroad back in the 1860s. Our children will make their name exploring the stars,” he said.
In addition, Stillwell is advocating for a global Wi-Fii system.
“A constellation of global Wi-Fi satellites is the cheapest and safest way I can think of to deprive ISIS and al-Queda of their foot soldiers because those boys will be too busy facebooking girls to even think about becoming suicide bombers,” he said.
Stilwell has scheduled a meet and greet at MaJe Gallery (409 Main Street, Edmonds), on Thursday, Jan. 14, from 7-8 p.m.
For more information about Stilwell’s campaign, visit Facebook.com/StilwellForCongress.